Complications of Silicone Buttock Implants

Complications of Silicone Buttock Implants

22nd Jun 2017


As with all other surgical interventions, the buttock implant surgery entails complications. This is why it is imperative to discuss this aspect of the surgery in detail with your plastic surgeon prior to the procedure. Butt augmentation with gluteal implants is usually performed on an outpatient basis and general anesthetic is required to perform the procedure.

We currently have two types of butt enhancement procedures available: silicone butt implants and fat transfer to the buttocks. In this article, we will discuss the potential complications that can accompany the silicone butt implant surgery. The population of women undergoing butt implant surgery has increased significantly over the last few years because of all the hype surrounding celebrities like Kim Kardashian and the publications by the mass media that are keen to promote big, perky buttocks as trademarks of femininity and beauty.

Choosing silicone butt implants over any other alternative method for buttock augmentation is dependent on your desires, objectives and the prerequisites of the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will initially examine your buttocks and general anatomy. Subsequently, your surgeon will assess your overall health before suggesting the best treatment option for your case. It is undeniable that while buttock implant surgery helps many patients attain the aesthetic goals that they have always dreamt of, there is also a host of potential complications associated with the procedure.

Silicone Gluteal Implants

To be able to fully understand the risks that accompany the silicone butt implant surgery, you need to have an idea about the materials they consist of. Prosthetic devices of this category are also known as silicone gluteal implants. These implants are created for the sole reason of making your derriere look shapelier and more voluminous; and this is achieved by inserting them into your buttocks during surgery. The silicone implants come in multiple shapes (round or anatomically shaped) and sizes. The surface of the shell can be textured or smooth and they are already filled with thick silicone gel. The silicone gel inside the implants is able to withstand immense pressure, which prevents rupture or leakage of the gel. The gluteal implants are introduced into the buttocks using small incisions placed under, over or inside the gluteal muscle.

The Operative Process

Being familiar with the operative process is essential to understanding the potential complications. The plastic surgeon will begin by making an incision in the fold between your buttocks and the posterior thigh. Alternative placement options for the incision can be on the superior area of the fold or in between the buttocks. The surgeon will create a pocket that will accommodate the implant. The silicone implants can be inserted over or under the gluteal muscle. The position will depend on your needs, desires and the current shape of your buttocks. The silicone implants are then inserted into the pocket and the incisions are stitched or stapled.

Once the surgery is finished, a drainage tube will be inserted into the surgical wound to help drain blood and fluids from the area. There are surgeons who prefer to avoid using gluteal implants as they believe that the risk of complications is higher and they would rather recommend the Brazilian butt lift. Fortunately, when you choose a board-certified and talented plastic surgeon, the probability of experiencing complications will be significantly reduced.

Potential Complications

Buttock augmentation with gluteal implants is associated with a number of possible complications such as implant displacement, rupture or migration. There are also other hazards such as excessive bleeding, fat tissue atrophy, infections, bad scarring and capsular contracture.

Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the augmentation surgery will provide 100% natural-looking results. Furthermore, you should know that gluteal implants are not meant to last forever so in a few years’ time you might need to go under the knife again for revision surgery or to replace the implants. The lifespan for silicone butt implants is up to 10 to 13 years. Still, there are patients who have had the gluteal implants for more than 20 years without having to replace them. Now, let’s have a look at the possible complications that may arise from butt implant surgery.

Seroma Formation

One of the common complications of the gluteal implants surgery is seroma. Seroma is defined as an accumulation of fluid at the surgical site and in the surrounding tissues that were damaged during surgery. When an inexperienced surgeon performs the butt implant surgery there is an increased risk for injuries such as blunt trauma, which in turn, doubles the risk of seroma.

There are cases wherein seroma continues to build up and eventually cause further complications. Usually, the body will simply reabsorb the seroma if it is small. In case you are physically active, bear in mind that the risk of seroma increases during intense activities.

To avoid the formation of seroma, the plastic surgeon should use a drainage tube at the surgical site. When the seroma has already occurred, it can be treated by aspiration (the procedure will involve using a syringe and needle). If the aspiration method fails to provide successful results, a CT-guided drain placement can be useful. In very rare cases, the surgeon might decide to insert a sclerosing substance into the surgical wound.

Your surgeon will insert a drainage tube into the surgical site after the butt implant surgery. The drain tubes will need to be kept for a few days or even weeks, depending on how your recovery goes and how much fluid is drained.

Silicone Implant Rupture and Leakage

Other frequent complications that can occur after silicone implant surgery are implant rupture and leakage. The silicone shell that surrounds the implant can rupture or leak which sets off other issues such as infections and implant migration. Revision surgery is required to correct the issue and to replace the implant.

The issue that often occurs with the rupture of silicone butt implants is that detecting it might be difficult. The implant doesn’t deflate immediately and the patient might need to undergo MRI or sonogram scans to check the condition of the implant. Call you doctor to check for an implant rupture if you feel pain in your buttocks or notice a change in the shape and contour of your behind.


Infection only occurs in rare cases, but it is still a possibility after butt implant surgery. It is essential to maintain the cleanliness of the surgical site by washing it with soap to keep bacteria from accumulating. Avoid scratching the incision or letting anyone touch it, except for you and your surgeon. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection but if it still occurs, contact the surgeon immediately as it can trigger other severe complications. A drastic increase in your temperature during the recovery phase can be a sign that you need to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Capsular Contracture and Wound Healing

There are some patients who had undergone the silicone butt implant surgery and reported abnormal wound healing. Choosing an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure can reduce the risk of delayed wound healing. An experienced surgeon will use techniques such as tension-free multilayer closure and will select a suitable implant to reduce the chances of delayed wound healing. Capsular contracture is not often reported, still there is a chance for the patient to experience it.

The Migration of the Implant

When the plastic surgeon haphazardly cuts through submuscular or intramuscular space, the risk for implant migration increases; however, this is a rare complication. At the same time, if your buttock muscles are not flexible, the implant might migrate crosswise which can be quite difficult to fix.

Excessive bleeding

Hemorrhage or excessive bleeding can also happen after the butt implant surgery. This potential complication can cause discomfort as well as other problems like inflammation and pain at the incision site. When the bleeding becomes difficult to stop, a new surgery might be needed to solve the issue.

Buttocks Asymmetry

Butt asymmetry is a frequent complication that is brought about by silicone implant surgery. Of course, the risk for this to occur is significantly higher when an inexperienced surgeon conducts the intervention. Your buttocks might appear asymmetrical because of an improperly placed silicone implant. The position of the implants may have been too high; thus, causing the asymmetry. In these cases revision surgery is necessary to correct the placement of the implants.

Implant Ptosis

Implant ptosis is yet another complication that can occur after butt implant surgery. This is a condition wherein the implant edges become visible and can be felt through the skin. The condition usually is determined by the laxity of the skin and surgical negligence.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a complication encountered only after implant surgery. It happens when the scar tissue that surrounds the silicone implant starts to harden and tighten. The buttocks might seem extremely firm or hard when this occurs. Corrective surgery will be required to eliminate the hardened scar tissue.


Augmentation surgery using silicone gluteal implants has associated complications. Some occur very rarely while others can be frequently encountered. As always, the best method to significantly reduce the risk of developing complications is to choose a qualified and board-certified plastic surgeon to conduct the surgery. At the same time, appropriate post-operative care can also cut down on the risk of complications after the procedure. Make sure to discuss the risks and possible complications that accompany this procedure with your plastic surgeon prior to the operation.


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